When you want to start a family but are having difficulty getting pregnant, whom do you consult? You have your gynaecologist, who will check on you and advise you about the best course of action. So, why and when to see a fertility specialist?
Read on to know when you should leave your OB-GYN and consult a fertility doctor.
Also known as, a reproductive endocrinologist, a fertility doctor is someone who is specialized in female infertility and knows all about the female and male reproductive system. They also know all about the female and male anatomy , physiology which plays role in fertility.
They are the only doctors who can check, analyse and provide treatments related to fertility. If you are unable to conceive or have issues related to fertility, then this is the type of doctor you need to consult.
An OB-GYN is also educated in the field of the female reproductive system and has expertise in pregnancy care like ante natal care , delivery , post natal care , gynaecological problems like excessive bleeding , irregular bleeding , white discharge and so on .
Your OB-GYN can also help with issues like PCOS and PCOD but if you are trying to get pregnant with these issues, then you need to consult a fertility doctor. Fertility doctor is sub speciality branch of OBG in where gynaecologist while do higher studies of two to three years about fertility in details . This is when they can become a fertility doctor and can perform fertility treatments.
If you are trying to get pregnant, you need to consult an OB-GYN. They will help you identify your fertile days, suggest a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as prescribe vitamins like folic acid. If you are having issues getting pregnant or are diagnosed with some issue that is preventing you from getting pregnant, then you need to switch over to a fertility doctor and may need fertility treatments.
A fertility treatment is a medical procedure or a treatment that will help a couple conceive. Your fertility doctor will ask for multiple tests and check various criteria to determine there a son for your inability to get pregnant. Based on the findings, they will suggest a fertility treatment that can increase the chances of you getting pregnant.
The various fertility treatments a fertility doctor may suggest are:
1. Ovulation induction and timed intercourse
2. Artificial Insemination or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
3. IVF ( In Virto Fertilization) / ICSI
4. Tubal Cannulation
5. Tubal Litigation Reversal
6. Egg donation
1. Surgical sperm retrieval
2. Varicocele surgery
3. Vasectomy reversal
4. Semen freezing
5. Donor semen
So, when to see a fertility specialist? If you have any of the following issues, you need to consult a fertility doctor:
· You are trying to conceive for the last 12 months or more
· The female partner is over 35years of age and you are unable to conceive for the last 6 months or more
· You have suffered pregnancy loss more than once (a miscarriage is quite common but if you are having repeated miscarriages, you need more than an OB-GYN)
· You are diagnosed with one or more of the fertility issues like PCOS or endometriosis that is hindering your attempts to get pregnant
· You want to preserve your eggs or sperm for future use
· Your menstrual cycle is too short or too long and is becoming an issue in your attempts to track fertile days and get pregnant
· You want to try IVF, artificial insemination surrogacy or other fertility treatments (both male and female related)
· You want to reverse your family planning procedure
When you fix your appointment with a well-reputed fertility specialist, you can expect the following:
· An inquiry about your menstrual history – the length of your cycle, frequency of your period, the intensity of your bleeding etc.
· Tests to confirm ovulation
· Various fertility tests for both partners
· The male partner will have to ejaculate in the clinic or the lab for semen analysis
· Prescription of drugs to stimulate ovulation
· Fertility treatment suggestions based on the results
Fertility treatments are expensive and time-consuming for many and may not always succeed. Undergoing fertility treatment requires both partners to be equally prepared and supportive.
A fertility treatment can not only be financially demanding on a couple but can be emotionally demanding as well. The multiple tests and trips to the fertility centre and
negative results can be very hard to take if both partners are not fully committed to fertility treatments.
As a couple, both must be prepared for various difficulties during fertility treatment. A fertility doctor can only help from a technical aspect and cannot support the emotional toll it can take on a couple. You can always find support groups to help you through this tough phase. Try asking your fertility doctor, they may have some suggestions.
The biggest question here is why one should leave their OB-GYN even after being with them for years and getting help in various issues related to the female reproductive system including identifying fertility issues.
When your OB-GYN identifies a fertility issue like a tube blockage or PCOS or finds nothing wrong with the female and suspects it could be the sperm's health, it is time to consult a fertility specialist. The role of your OB-GYN stops with identifying possible issues. Only a fertility specialist can confirm and take the necessary steps to move forward from here.
If you are having trouble conceiving naturally despite all the help and suggestions from your OB-GYN, it is time to move on to a specialist who is well-qualified to help you with fertility treatments and make you realize your dream of having a baby.
· Miscarriages in early pregnancy are common. However, if you had a very late miscarriage or had multiple miscarriages, you need to consult a fertility doctor to identify and address the underlying problem.
· If you are having trouble conceiving naturally, you need to consult a fertility doctor. If you and your fertility doctor decide IVF is the best course of treatment, you will have to go to an IVF centre. do more than just IVF treatment in such centres. In most IVF centres, other fertility treatments are also available.